Dropped the Ball: 6 Places that could have been Black meccas but are Places Of Dissappointment instead

  1. Salvador Brazil

Salvador is 80% Black, it is the largest Black majority city outside of Africa, and it is known as Black Rome, it had the potential to be the Atlanta of Brazil, But is a city of high crime and poverty, Salvador and the state of Bahia are both 80% have never had a Black mayor or Governor, with politics being controlled or influenced by the powerful Magalhaes family

2. Detroit

Detroit is about 85% Black, but the majority of the money and business is in the hands of NonBlacks. In Detroit there 183 gas stations, and only 3 of them are owned by Blacks.

3. Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is the fifth largest city and the largest Black majority city in Colombia at 70%. Yet Blacks there have almost no political or economic power.

4. New Orleans

New Orleans is about 60% Black, It has a rich Black culture, but is plagued by high crime and poverty. Black New Orleans has not capitalized on selling its rich culture as a tourism point which could boost its economy.



5. Saint Louis

Saint Louis is 51%


6. Santo Domingo

A beautiful city, that was the site of the first Black slaves to the New World, is now a place destroyed by colorism and self hatred.

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Salvador, Brazil the largest Black majority city outside Africa

Salvador is Brazil’s third largest city. Salvador has 3 million people with a metro of 4 million (making it 6th). Salvador is known as “Brazil’s capital of happiness” due to its countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The city has the largest carnival in the world.[8]Once the magnificent capital of Portugal’s great New World colony, Salvador is the country’s Afro-Brazilian jewel, with an 80-85% Black population. However it is Brazil’s 3rd most dangerous city. 










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Game Changers: Entrepreneurs in Salvador, Bahia join forces for a new online venture that uses 100% black business owners and models!



Note from BW of Brazil: For readers who may not know, when the term “black power”, said in English rather than “poder negro” in Portuguese, often times they are speaking of the afro hairstyle popularized by black Americans in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Leaders and representatives of this movement were recognized for their large, rounded afros, a symbol of black pride. As such, “black power” was adapted among black Brazilians in reference to the hairstyle. So when you Google the term “meu black power”, meaning “my black power” or “meu black”, for example, the person is more than likely talking about their hairstyle. But, there are some Afro-Brazilians who use the term in its original connotation: economic/political power/representation for the black population. And although the term is not actually used in the material below, with the rise of demands for black representation and afro-entrepreneurialism, it is clearly the objective of the initiative! And it’s about time!

The fashion world does not reflect the reality of Brazil, the country where negros(pretos/blacks and pardos/browns) are the majority – total 53.6% of the population in 2014.


Eyeing this historical disproportion, a young couple from Salvador, Bahia, created a virtual store that tries to show that it is indeed possible to prioritize negritude(blackness) in this market – and profit from it.

Launched this year, Kumasi is an online sales platform that brings together artisan articles produced only by pequenos empreendedores negros (black small entrepreneurs).

“It’s a shop also to mark position. To open and occupy space in the business environment, create a narrative protagonized by ourselves,” says Lucas Santana, 23.

A student of Electrical Engineering, he handles the business beside his girlfriend, Monique Evelle, 23, and her mother, Neuza Nascimento, 46.

Feminist and anti-racism phrases and expressions adorn products for sale on the site. “Poder às minas pretas” (Power to the black girls), “Nunca fui tímida, fui silenciada” (I’ve never been shy, I was silenced), “Tentaram nos enterrar, esqueceram que somos sementes” (They tried to bury us, but they forgot that we’re seeds).

With six months of operation, Kumasi has been gaining ground on two fronts: traditional customers, attracted to specific pieces, and the “activists” who consume for a cause.


Desabafo social

And the store itself was born for a cause: to raise funds to pay for Desabafo Social, an education network in human rights created by Monique and transformed the young woman into a reference when it comes to feminism negro (black feminism) and social activism in Brazil.

The network of youth and adolescents began in 2011 as a student guild slate of a public school. Today it has 30,000 followers on the Internet. With 80 volunteers in 13 states, it organizes study groups, video conferences and workshops on topics such as racism and social inclusion.

Thinking about how to fund the network, Monique and Lucas had the idea of selling T-shirts with the phrase that has become a trademark of youth: “Se a coisa tá preta, a coisa tá boa” (If the thing is black, the thing is good).

“Once I was talking to friends about racist phrases and mentioned that it is common to say that ‘a coisa está preta’ (‘the thing is black’) when something is bad. So, in a lecture in 2014, I said that ‘if the thing is black, it’s actually good.’ This went viral,” says Monique, about to graduate in Humanities at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA).

Vitrine virtual

In the shop named after the city in Ghana that houses the biggest market in West Africa, only blacks can sell – and be models for the pieces on display.

“Once we receive a message saying that only having only black models was racism. But everywhere that only has a white standard, is that not racism?” asked Monique.


The shirts are the flagship, but the site also features turbans, calendars, caps, necklaces and other accessories produced by eight invited microempreendedores (small businesspeople) eight.

The family puts the orders together and makes two orders per week – Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are the destinations of most orders.


Artisan Evanilza dos Santos, 58, participated in sporadic fairs in Salvador and says that her sales of semi-jewelry are up 50% on the site. “It’s very different the exposure of the product on the Internet,” she says.

At fairs, on average, a commission of 20% is paid by the participants. On the site, the rate is 12%, and members have qualifying activities such as digital marketing workshops, producing of videos for social networking and access to microcredit.

“I try to redeem the roots of black people with my pieces. I missed this in products I found on the street,” says Annia Rizia, 24, who produces accessories with cowry shells.

A student Arts at UFBA, Rizia says craft work is her only income today, and helps fund the course materials. “The great advantage of the site is that I can send products to other states. Without this partnership, the cost was too high.”

Self esteem

According to Data Popular institute, eight out of ten people that their improved their lives in Brazil in the past 15 years are black. Social mobility and increased self-esteem is reflected in consumption, says the institute, raising the demand for lines and products specific for the população negra (black population).

In the shop named after the city in Ghana, only blacks can sell and be models for products

In the case of Kumasi, dissemination won “volunteer ambassadors” who endorsed the products on social networks such as actor Lázaro Ramos and musicians Liniker and Tassia Reis.

Today there are already other entrepreneurs interested in joining the platform, which goes through a technological upgrade to gather more vendors and customers without sacrificing navigation and logistics.

Visibility also has its price – Monique slogan, for example, already prints parts of other shops. “The people have no creativity. Our own customers when they see an imitation they tell us. This is further proof that “a coisa tá preta, a coisa tá boa,” jokes the student.


The only daughter of a maid and a condominium security, Monique was raised in Nordeste de Amaralina, a region of Salvador stigmatized by poverty and violence.

Early on, she heard her mother’s stories in which the protagonists were princesas negras(black princesses) and de cabelo crespo (with curly/kinky hair). “Black princesses didn’t exist. They were all brancas (white girls), with long hair. Monique didn’t see herself in the princesses, so she created the character,” says her partner and mother, Neuza.

Since adolescence, Monique used her free time in activities with young people in the bairros da periferia (poor neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city). She went alone – to get closer, playing ball in the middle of boys rapping. When she got attention, she initiated talk about citizenship and human rights themes.


“We talked about how to act during police stops, for example, and also show examples of people who have changed reality itself,” says Monique, who has been invited to speak at events in Brazil and abroad.

Only in the last three years, the young woman from Salvador was among the “25 mulheres negras mais influentes no Brasil” (25 most influential black women in Brazil) (from the site Blogueiras Negras, 2013) and “30 mulheres com menos de 30 para ficar de olho” (30 women under 30 to keep an eye on) (Editora Abril, 2015), was part of the list Mulheres Inspiradoras 2015 (Inspiring Women 2015)  (Think Olga site) and won the 2015 Laureate Brasil award, aimed at young people with actions of social entrepreneurship.


The other pillar of the contract is Lucas – “dream maker” of the store, according to the definition on the company website.

A ninth semester student of engineering, he works in person for three days of the week in the collaborative space in organizing deliveries. At home, he answers clients, maintains the site and takes care of digital marketing.

Neuza, who worked more than ten years as a maid and daily worker, now has her unique activity in the store. She says she’s “very proud” to be a partner of her daughter and says that she always supported her. “I never disbelieved in my daughter, even in the beginning. She didn’t win anything, but she helped many children.”

Today Kumasi works as MEI (individual microenterprise), with sales limit of R$60,000/year. The idea is to change to another tax bracket when updating the platform and being able to incorporate more sellers.

The store serves as marketplace – a space where exhibitors and buyers meet and make transactions. Vendors, independents, receive by the products they sell, deductions on the site commissions.

The sale of the Desabafo Social products (such as the T -shirt “Se a coisa tá preta…”) is still destined to actions of the network, end up falling under the definition of Oscip (Organization of Civil Society of Public Interest) and they want to create a network of distance education in 2017.

“Everything we do is in thinking about transformation. In Kumasi or other activities, the idea is that all grow together,” says Monique.

Source: Terra Notícias

Game Changers:In historic fashion parade, rapper Emicida releases his clothing line at São Paulo Fashion Week with cast featuring 90% black models


In an historical parade, Emicida puts black and overweight models on as protagonists in SPFW with his clothing line

It took a rapper invading the catwalk to show the obvious: a parade with mostly black models is as or more beautiful than a parade of Scandinavian whites. There is no possible argument after watching the the LAB parade.

By  Wendy Candido (Rap Nacional Download) with info from Ego, Vogue, Elle, M de Mulher


The second day of parades of São Paulo Fashion Week ended in a grand and exciting way, and certainly made history on Monday (October 24th) with the debut of the Laboratório Fantasma, the clothing line of rapper Emicida and his brother Evandro Fióti.


With a casting, comprised of 90% black models, the mission of the brand at the event was to bring the fashion world a more inclusive, democratic discourse, and, of course, representativeness.


The main objective of LAB, as the line is affectionately known, is to show the diversity and freedom from all knowledge of the struggle of black people throughout the world and the harsh reality of everyday life of the broken, very well known by the brothers Emicida and Fióti.


The collection, which is called Yasuke, the name given to black Samurais, had creative direction of João Pimenta, a renowned designer who participated in SPFW for years, and mixes Eastern, African and street influences. Under the blessing of Emicida, the pieces were presented by people of all types (black, fat, tall, short…) escaping from world standards of the catwalks and representing those who we see on the streets every day, that is, real people, who consumes a lot of fashion and often only don’t consume more because most brands bar offering offer sizes that go past 44. In short, the LAB parade is nothing like what the one is accustomed to seeing at the São Paulo fashion week.


Entre the looks, all in black, white and red, the singers Seu Jorge and Ellen Oléria also paraded in what was a great celebration of cultura afro and national rap.


In an interview with Vogue, Emicida detailed he how deals with the similarities between the creative processes in music and fashion.

“Creation is a blank sheet on all platforms. Creating a track or designing shirt, what I want is to tell a story. This is a delicious sensation.”


For its first participation in SPFW, the line came with a lot of maturity, full of innovation and authenticity – Watch the whole parade, complete with an Emicida rhyme.

Knowing full well the importance of the visual of his parade, the rapper and his brother explained the vision they had for the parade.


“We put on the catwalk ordinary people, who deal with reality. We see a many things, not only in fashion, that don’t reflect the reality of the country. We are showing what Brazil is,” Emicida said. When asked about the casting of the models, the rapper replied:


“In general, people look at the catwalk here and it seems that they’re looking at the catwalks of Sweden. We can look at the casting of our show through the lens of the occupation and also the representation of beauty, self-esteem and elegance. For a long time it was not associated with pessoas pretas e à periferia (black people and the periphery). What we are doing now is getting all this back. Evandro and I participated in the choice of each person to participate, we didn’t leave this decision in the hands of anyone. And we didn’t go only by the profile, we also exchanged an idea to know who they were.”

“We aren’t not making any kind of protest. Just portraying Brazil as it really is. Fashion has to be inclusive and not generate grief or destroy dreams,” Fióti said. “We want to show a Brazil rarely or never seen in this structure of the fashion week. LAB wins with the entry in the line-up and the SPFW wins with the veracity of our work. This may reflect positively in the minds of many people, hopefully act as a further help to change thoughts and attitudes of the entire ecosystem of the industry. That’s what I hope to garner,” he concludes.


The models celebrated. “The idea is very cool. Society needs to see that there is room for everyone. If it was the reverse, with mostly whites, no one would find it strange,” said Arthur Lopes. “I thought the initiative was incredible. In other clothing lines, when there are two black girls it’s a lot,” said Natiele Alves.


The challenge to a SPFW that’s usually lilly white was also not missed by Elle magazine:

“In Emicida’s show, he really wanted to reflect on the beauty of the streets, of the public using their clothes and not bending toward the standards. […] It’s clear that the rapper was keen to reverse the percentage and put on a beautiful display of 90% black versus 10% white to show how a more colorful world of fashion would be. And whoever saw it, knows: it’s beautiful, proud, with intelligent and desirable clothes.”


Are black and money are rival words???

By Bruno Rico

We must learn to recognize something historic, and this week something happened up for history, which was the launch of the brand Lab, by rapper Emicida and his brother Fióti, in the biggest fashion event in Latin America, São Paulo Fashion Week.

The launch was historic for many reasons, the parade managed to insert practically all the elements that everybody involved in militancy always complain of not having, and when it has it, here come people complaining, and that my text today is especially directed to this group.

First it is important to say that the Laboratório Fantasma has been around for a long time in the market, it functions as a record label, producer, cultural vehicle, etc.; I can say that I’m talking about a collective created to promote hip-hop, urban and black culture in general, in addition to other things, and of these things emerged a clothing brand, which until recently sold the clothes of its latest collection for the single price of R$14.00. All this already shows how Emicida was always a man ahead of his time, a born artist, a visionary entrepreneur, black with no strings attached, and he is more than right, as our ancestors were already tied up for too long, the equivalent of several future generations, and now this next generation is saying we have to be imprisoned again, this doesn’t cut it anymore!

In spite of already having done a lot, Emicida decided to go beyond, and from  Laboratório Fantasma he launched a collection that comes with a new look, getting his foot in the door of the fashion market.

In my thirty years, I’ve never seen a black guy who rose from poverty to launching his clothing brand and already the guy launches it in an event that is a world reference in terms of fashion. If this isn’t showing off to you, for me, it’s a lot!

Another extremely important point of the parade, and for me the most important of all is the question of representativeness, because almost all models were black, not to mention the designer was also, and is this not what the guys are always complaining? In addition, the brand even bothered to put on overweight models, but I’m not talking about those chubby ones with no stomach that appear in most plus size fashion shows, I’m talking about gordo de verdade (the real fat ones), people who need 5G clothes, and with Lab they will find these cloths.

Mas Emicida and his brother Fióti could have just been around there, after all, a bunch of blacks together in a walkway was a lot of already, and already would be an achievement, but they still went further, as the brand even bothered to release prints with African themes, all connected to the history of Yasuke, a black samurai that I had never heard of, but that I learned about thanks to Lab. Look how sensational this was! You launch a brand and still convey culture with all of this; search for Yasuke, the parade was cool, there’s a cartoon and everything and all the kids will fall in love with it. Soon, I’ll release a book called Piye, which is already ready, only missing a publisher, and Piye, for those who do not know, was the first great black Pharaoh of Egypt, so I thought the history of Yasuke was sensational.

In the midst of such representation, we still had as models: musician Seu Jorge, actress Cris Vianna, rapper Karol Conka, Rashid, the former Globeleza Nayara Justino, who was practically fired from the post for ser preta demais (being too black), remember her? Well then, all of this crowd was there, among many others, including models who live in slums.

But all of this wasn’t enough, there were still a lot of people complaining, and gente preta(black people), because I didn’t see white people commenting on the matter, and even I saw them, it wouldn’t matter to me, because what bothers me most is when I see blacks criticizing blacks, especially when that black seems to concern himself with the evolution of the other black, because I can only understand it in this way, as in my Facebook I already questioned three siblings that were against to the show, I asked them to show me a solution, in regards to the problem they had submitted, only that so far no one has responded.

To be continued…